Victorian AMCA racing recently seen the return of the Victoria # 78 car after four seasons of waiting for the Heath Bunting Racing team to return to the track, the Western Speedway home crowd in Buntings home town of Hamilton finally got to see the driver race and he almost started with a bang.
Bunting a salaried staff member for the Country Fire Authority moved to town from Frankston due to work placement and ever since arriving it has been on the cards that he would hit the track at his new home town one day and that day finally came on the 29th of December when the Victoria AMCA division rolled into town.
With assistance from Frank Thierry and his team and HBR’s new crew chief Greg Rhook, Heath Bunting was able to go racing after acquiring complete ownership of the race car from the previous part owner.
Prior to the race meeting starting in the pits at the track after advice from Thierry, Thierry’s crew and the HBR crew replaced the drag link, the power steering pully and re worked the timing on the motor as well as changing the gearbox linkage all things that the race driver thought was not an issue.
Finally the car made it on track, on time for the first time in four seasons just like the race driver who was keen to shake of some track rust of his own. When purchased in 2009 the car was only two seasons old.
Getting ready for heat one and checking brakes and steering on track before giving the car a squirt to catch up to the tail of the field for race start Bunting discovered the hard way he had no power steering and brakes to run with due to what was later discovered to be a leakage.
Inaction Photo’s Shane Sharrock had to run for his life leaving some of his camera gear on the infield which was quickly squashed by the # 78 race car this wasn’t long after Bunting had organised for some for photos of the photographer. The photographer is alive however HBR isn’t expecting any sponsorship from Inaction Photos any time soon.
Back in the pits the team fixed the front end damage, discovered the leak and attended to that, replaced the right hand steering arm and tightened the brake lines ready for heat two.
Due to alternator issues Bunting had to be push started before starting from the rear of the field in heat two again hanging around the back getting a feel for things not long into the race other drivers had a incident and Bunting had to spin to avoid and required a second push start and despite that stoppage not being his own fault a second spin by Bunting put him out of the race due to the two push start rules.
After heat two and charging the battery Bunting ran from the rear of the field. This time completing the whole race which included hitting the concrete retaining wall to avoid a spun driver and to avoid slamming into four or five other racers on the pole line.
Prior to getting on track for the final the crew changed tyre pressures due to the track running slick. Starting his first feature event in four years Bunting began in ninth position on track for the fifteen lap finale. Bunting completed three laps and due to over heating concerns and not willing to risk a very good engine in its first night on track pulled the car infield to fight another day.
With his first race meeting under the belt Bunting looks forward to running at Blue Ribbon Speedway Horsham on January the 11th, Bunting shared how he felt having returned to racing. “It feels great to finally be out having a go again. I’ve forgotten most of what I learnt a few years ago so I need to learn again and get some valuable seat time for a better prepared hit out at things in the 2014/15 season.”
Heath Bunting Racing would like to thank Frank Thierry whom he brought the race car from after Buntings last season. “Frank is the generous and helpful person I have ever met, without his generosity & help I would not be racing again right now. I also thank Frank’s crew chief Blake for his support and my new crew chief Greg Rhook for joining HBR. Also I thank my brother in law and my sister James & Stacey for their encouragement and coming out from Dunkeld to watch my first night back on track”
Heath Bunting Racing supporters include: DMT Sports Media Ramsdale Wreckers
Written by Dean Thompson DMT Sports Media for Heath Bunting Racing
Heath Bunting at Western Speedway Hamilton (C) Inaction Photos